I am a Reader in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. I received a Ph.D. (2010) in Political Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a B.A. (2001) in History and Human Rights Studies from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Before joining the University of Essex in Spring 2020, I was a member of the faculty of the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. My research broadly focuses on political violence, conflict processes, and human rights. I typically teach courses on insurgency and terrorism, gender and conflict, human rights, and international politics.
My current research projects investigate the causes and implications of women’s participation in armed resistance movements, the influence of gender diversity on conflict resolution and post-conflict peace, and the influence of development and other forms of foreign aid on patterns of violence during civil conflicts.
I am currently involved in several ongoing data collection projects. I am co-creator (with Jakana Thomas) of the Women in Armed Rebellion Dataset (WARD). This novel dataset includes information on the prevalence of female combatants in some 200 rebel movements active between 1979 and 2009 as well as other information on women’s participation in organized violent rebellions. I am also a principal investigator on the Sub-National Analysis of Repression Project (SNARP), a human rights data collection, measurement, and analysis project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). I also co-manage the Political Terror Scale (PTS), which is an annually updated index of state violations of physical integrity rights.